Why Boycott Christmas? Part 1

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Authored by Steve Hearts

Like many people, I enjoy and look forward to the Christmas season every year. No other season reminds me more of the great love God had for us in sending His only son to give us eternal salvation.

Over the years, I’ve run into people who profess that it’s wrong for believers to observe the Christmas holiday. Many scriptures are used to back up this idea. Of course, all have a right to their opinions and beliefs. To celebrate Christmas or not is a matter of personal choice. In this two-part article, I simply want to share my reasons for valuing and appreciating the Christmas season—along with the scriptural basis that supports them.

For starters, if we were to boycott this special opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the love shown to us by God and His Son, we would be depriving ourselves of an opportunity to celebrate the joy that comes from being saved and knowing Jesus.

One argument used as a reason not to observe the holiday is that there’s no biblical record of Jesus’ birth date. True enough. We aren’t told exactly what time of year Jesus was born. Yet we can be absolutely certain that He was born, coming to earth to redeem us and give us life. The Bible also tells us that Christ’s birth was an occasion for much joy and happiness. If the angels themselves praised and glorified God, and if the shepherds were allowed to witness and share in this joy, why shouldn’t we carry on the celebration of it today?1

Why should lack of certainty regarding dates keep us from indulging in the immeasurable joy that the celebration of the birth of Jesus can bring?

I once knew a blind man who was an orphan. Because of this, he’d never found out exactly when his birthday was. So he chose a certain date as his birth date, and it was accepted by the government and used on all his legal documents.

“The fact that the date is not exact doesn’t matter to me,” he told me. “What’s important is that I have something to celebrate and look forward to every year, just like anyone else.”

If this man wasn’t kept from celebrating his own birthday by the lack of knowledge as to exactly when it was, why should lack of such knowledge hold us back from celebrating and honoring the birth of our Savior?

“Okay,” some may argue. “But often the traditional celebration of Christmas today does not honor, let alone commemorate, the birth of Christ.”

True again. Many attributes of the celebration of Christmas have been misused and push aside the memory of Jesus rather than honor it. The giving of gifts, for example, was meant to symbolize God’s precious gift to us—that of His Son who loves and saves us. The real spirit of Christmas is giving ourselves to the service of others. Today people waste money on material things no one needs—all the while turning a blind eye to those who are truly destitute and in need.

In the song, “The Christmas Shoes,” performed by New Song, a man tells of having stood in a long line at a store just before Christmas, trying to finish his last-minute shopping. A little boy stood in front of him, dressed in worn and tattered clothes with an anxious look on his face. He held a pair of shoes in his hand. He turned to the man standing in line and told him he wanted to buy the shoes for his mother who would soon meet Jesus.

The boy gave the pennies he had to the cashier, who told him it wasn’t enough. He then looked imploringly at the man and asked him what he should do. The man in return helped the boy buy the shoes.

As the song goes,

“I knew I’d caught a glimpse of Heaven’s love
As he thanked me and ran out.
I knew that God had sent that little boy to remind me
What Christmas is all about.”

I’m reminded of the first few lines of a Christmas poem I memorized when I was a kid:

“Christmas is a season of giving
And giving is the key to living.
So let us give ourselves away
Not just at Christmas,
But every day.”2

I’ll readily agree that the world certainly focuses far more on the celebration of Christmas than on the reason for the celebration. In many cases, Santa and the materialism he has come to represent are the centerpiece of the season instead of Christ

At the Last Supper, when Jesus celebrated communion with His disciples, He told them, “Do this in remembrance of me.”3 The same criterion could be applied to Christmas, as the celebration of His birthday. If we fail to remember Him as we celebrate, that would indeed be wrong.

I think that those who claim that it’s wrong to observe and celebrate the Christmas season risk throwing out the baby with the bathwater—professing that it’s “all” wrong. But 2 Corinthians 3:17 tells us, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”4 By that criterion, it would only be wrong to observe the Christmas season if the Spirit of the Lord were absent in our celebrations. The Lord loves it when we rejoice and celebrate in His honor. Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice.”5

Some of the most meaningful opportunities to lead people to the Lord have come my way during Christmas celebrations I attended. One of my earliest Christmas memories is from the year I was six. We spent the holidays with my grandparents and aunt. It was the first time I and my brothers met them. With the help and direction of my parents, the three of us boys put on a simple Christmas program for our relatives on Christmas Eve.

That same night, my grandfather prayed with me to receive Jesus. Before he passed away about 15 years later, he thanked me for leading him to the Lord and said that particular Christmas was the most meaningful one he’d ever known.

I believe that the Lord loves to see us celebrate God’s greatest gift to humankind that came about at His birth—especially if it’s done in His honor as it should be. As the words of a Christmas song I used to sing express, “The greatest gift for Christmas is the love You’ve given us.”

Happy birthday, Jesus!

1 See Luke 2:8–14.
2 Adapted from “Giving Is the Key to Living,” by Helen Steiner Rice
3 1 Corinthians 11:24 NIV
4 New International Version
5 Philippians 4:4 KJV

Read by Amber Larriva. Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright© 2015 by The Family International

Article originally appeared on Just1Thing (https://just1thing.com/).
Published: Dec. 10, 2015
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